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The design, implementation, and assessment of software for use in the teaching of history

[journal article]

Morgan, Nicholas J.; Moss, M. S.; Trainor, Rick H.; Wilson, A. T.

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Please use the following Persistent Identifier (PID) to cite this document:http://nbn-resolving.de/urn:nbn:de:0168-ssoar-52051

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Abstract (1) In recent years nine arts-related departments at Glasgow University have been successful in winning funds for the creation of large databases. Although these data are being extensively exploited for research, the great potential they offer for undergraduate teaching remains largely untapped due to the lack of suitably tailored software and hardware provision. (2) Our objective is to give arts-based students access to these complex highly structured data in the classroom without requiring them to master difficult operating systems. In this way they would gain valuable transferable skills in information technology. These will enhance the historians' traditional skills of evaluating, interpreting and presenting evidence, long recognized as useful by employers. (3) The scheme will require the establishment of a centrally sited teaching laboratory comprising sixteen micro-computers and fileserver linked to the mainframe through a communications PAD. Chosen to ensure a maximum degree of compatability, the micro-computers (with the appropriate operating system) will be capable of acting as terminals, as a local area network or as single workstations. A facility technician will be employed to supervise the lab's day-to-day running, leaving a programmer/analyst to concentrate exclusively on applying and developing software for the three designated courses. (4) The software will enable students to access and scan files with ease and submit complex search, correlative, and quantitative requests by means of a friendly user interface. It will be possible to generate output in alphanumeric and graphic format either online or in hard copy. Throughout, priority will be given to transferability and portability, particularly in relation to the complementary project at the University of Edinburgh. (5) The project will be directed by Dr. R.H. Trainor consulting with a committee representing the participants - the departments of Modern History, Scottish History and Economic History, the University Archives, the Wellcome Unit for the History of Medicine - and the Computing Service. The latter will provide overall technical supervision. The department of Computing Science will co-operate in formulating an academic staff development programme. With the help of the University adviser on teaching methods the designated courses will be closely monitored in order to assess the value of the particular software, hardware and teaching methods in the project.
Keywords electronic data processing; software; historical social research; Great Britain; apprenticeship
Classification Social History, Historical Social Research
Method applied research
Document language English
Publication Year 1986
Page/Pages p. 105-111
Journal Historical Social Research, 11 (1986) 2
ISSN 0172-6404
Status Published Version; peer reviewed
Licence Creative Commons - Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works